light bulb flashing

Posted by leejam99 
light bulb flashing
May 26, 2006 08:24PM
is there an easy way of making a flash in a clip to make it appear that a camera just went off? any plug-ins?
Re: light bulb flashing
May 26, 2006 09:38PM
Dip to Color - White - Lower the opacity. Only problem; that does the whole frame. In real life a camera flash would have a limited radius of light affected.

You could try adding a circular matte and have the DIP to Color only effect that smaller area but it still would not be technically accurate.
Re: light bulb flashing
May 26, 2006 09:42PM
you could do it with a super quick levels filter as well. if you do it short enough the radius shouldnt be of major concern... at least not to the average viewer at large...
Re: light bulb flashing
May 26, 2006 09:55PM
They're right. For about one or two frames, it looks like the camera is grossly overexposed. Nobody is going to view the movie frame by frame to see if you did a technincally good job.

Remember to put the camera noises in to "sell" the effect. For a mechanical SLR, it's the noise in the middle--the noise the curtain makes when it moves is when the flash fires. If the scene is with a digital camera, then you have to *make up a noise.* *No* noise is not optional. That will leave your effect hanging in mid air.


Re: light bulb flashing
May 27, 2006 12:49AM
Even though it works against your learning curve, I feel compelled to mention a free plugin that does a great job of this: [] and look for "flash frame".

And [] has some good camera click sound fx to go with it.


Re: light bulb flashing
May 27, 2006 02:29AM

By the way, if the camera in question is one of those Speed Graphic cameras with the "salad bowl" flash gun:


... the flash is the same, but the noise is different. A number 11 flashlamp went off with a hollow champaign cork pop (just ahead of the shutter click) followed by a quiet sizzle/crackle as the lamp cooled down. The flash was slower, too. Usually several frames

Flashlamps are thermo-chemical explosions *usually* contained in a small bulb. They had to be started ahead of the shutter opening to get them going and the shutter had to close before the last of the chemical (usually magnesium) burned.


Re: light bulb flashing
May 27, 2006 03:54AM
Aside from the plugin route or the dip to color which even at real speed never looked right for me, I used a luma key filter and a clip of white. The luma key would transfer the white from the white clip to the brightest parts of the clip. by keyframing the threshold (over about 4-7 frames depending on if I was doing more than one "camera flash"winking smiley I could control how much of the frame was "blown out". And since it followed the luminance values of the clip, the resulting effect was far more realistic than a dip to white.

Of course, nowadays, I just drop my Natress film flash transition on the clip and mess with it to get what I want.

Re: light bulb flashing
May 28, 2006 12:25PM
2 or 3 frames, ramping a quick decline of Brightness and Contrast filter has done okay for me.

- Loren
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